Today, the Aurora Universities Network has published its position paper on the future development of the European Education Area (EEA) which it sees linked to the European Research Area (ERA).
Aurora consists of nine research-intensive universities in Europe with a common commitment to matching academic excellence with societal relevance.
Based on our understanding of the aims of both EEA and ERA and our vision on the role of the whole Higher Education & Research sector, this position paper expresses Aurora´s view on the contribution of societally-engaged and research-intensive universities to education and research as pillars of Europe’s prosperity and resilience.
Our position paper is drafted as an outside-in document, articulating how autonomous and vigorous HE&I institutions can contribute to the society they serve.
Aurora has five overall recommendations:
- The EEA and ERA are not just there for EU institutions and services: all higher education and research institutions, as well as governments in Europe, need to own these strategies. The European Commission should ensure that stakeholders are meaningfully involved in establishing the EEA and ERA.
- SDGs must be the guiding themes and compass for both EEA and ERA.
- Europe is larger than the EU. Higher education and research institutions collaborate beyond the EU. Hence, the EEA and ERA should also reach out to the whole of Europe.
- Aurora Universities Network supports the European Parliament position that the budget for the Erasmus+ programme should be tripled as compared to the 2014-2020 budget in order to achieve all goals set out in the Council’s resolution and ERAC advice for a new EEA. However, the budget increase should not be focused on Youth and Sports alone.
In addition, Aurora Universities Network emphasises that to fulfil all ambitions the budget for Horizon Europe should amount to at least 120 billion euro.
- In order to achieve an effectively integrated EEA and ERA, both DG EAC and DG RTD should work closely together rather than in isolation from each other.
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